Surrogacy for Gay Men

Most Common Question From Gay Men About Surrogacy

We asked our Instagram community some of their top questions about surrogacy — Kristin Marsoli from Circle Surrogacy answers some of the most common!

We turned to our Instagram community to see what burning question gay men had about surrogacy — how much does it cost? how does the process work? How long does it take? We turned to Kristin Marsoli of Circle Surrogacy for the answers! Have some other questions you'd like our experts to answer? Email us at dads@gayswithkids.com!

How will working with an agency make my surrogacy journey easier?

Surrogacy can be a complex process with many moving parts. Working with an agency makes your journey easier because you're working with a team of professionals who are experts in surrogacy. An agency will partner with you to coordinate your journey, guide you through the process, and ensure you are ready for each milestone. This includes helping you find a surrogate, writing contracts, legal expertise and preparation for delivery day.

Read more.

Will both dads' names be on the birth certificate?

Short answer is: yes!

Intended Parents can be matched with gestational carriers who reside in states where they can obtain both names on the birth certificate with:

  • Pre-Birth or Post-birth declarations of parentage for both dads
  • Post-birth second or step-parent adoption process for non-biological dad

Intended parents can also return to their home state to complete second or step parent adoption for the non-biological dad. Intended Parents' marital status, state of residence, country of residence, citizenship needs will all impact this.

How can I be sure that I'm working with an LGBTQ friendly agency?

There are a few things to look for when considering a surrogacy agency:

  1. Do they have experience helping LGBTQ+ intended parents?
  2. Do they have the legal expertise regarding same sex parents and parentage?
  3. Are they affiliated with any LGBTQ+ organizations?

Circle Surrogacy was founded by a gay dad through surrogacy, who was also a lawyer. From its inception almost 25 years ago, Circle has been making parenthood possible – safely and securely – for LGBTQ+ families around the world.

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How much does it cost?

Surrogacy costs vary by journey. Average surrogacy costs (not including IVF clinic costs):

  • Surrogacy only: $119,000
  • Surrogacy + egg donation $145,000

At Circle Surrogacy, our costs are all inclusive (except for IVF clinic costs). Our costs include: agency fees, legal fees, surrogate & egg donor compensation and coordination, unlimited surrogate and donor rematching, travel costs and insurance. When comparing agency costs, be sure to find out exactly what their costs cover so there are no surprises along the way!

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Is surrogacy difficult for Dutch citizens?

No! There is a formula in terms of legal work, birth certificate, legal process in the Netherlands that has worked for some time. Wilma Eusman is an excellent attorney in Amsterdam that can assist with the process and is a great starting point for intended parents gathering information. Circle has worked with many intended parents successfully in the Netherlands!

How long does the surrogacy process take?

Very busy day of young business person

Great question! The average length of the surrogacy process at Circle ranges from 16-21 months, from sign on to holding your baby for the first time. Of course, there are journeys that take less time, and some that take longer. Where you live and your matching criteria can affect the length of your journey.

What are your thoughts on traditional surrogacy? Do you have much experience with it?

At Circle, we only do gestational surrogacy - where the gestational carrier is implanted with an embryo created with the intended parents biology (or with an egg donor). In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is not genetically related to the baby. We do not do traditional surrogacy.

Is the process harder when someone wants to be a single parent?

The surrogacy process is the same process for all intended parents. Single intended parents should be prepared to have a strong support system to assist them during their journey, as well as after the baby arrives. Being a single intended parents may slightly impact your match time, but other than that, the process is the same. Some of Circle's first intended parents from over 20 years ago were single gay dads!

Where can I find an AFFORDABLE surrogacy option?

Surrogacy costs vary for each individual journey. However, here are considerations on how you can reduce the costs of your surrogacy journey:

  • Research organizations that offer grants and discounts, such as the Men Having Babies GPAP program.
  • See if your own company benefits packages reveals IVF, surrogacy and other benefits you may not know you had.
  • Find surrogacy programs that help control costs. At Circle, we offer an unlimited package of rematching with surrogates and donors, as well as a fixed fee program that, while looking more expensive, will completely control your costs.

What percentage are actually successful the first time?

The IVF process has improved greatly over the last 5 years; today, a single embryo transfer success rate is usually over 70%. NOTE: it's common for intended parents to experience more than one transfer. Industry guidelines advise IPs to measure success with up to 3 transfers.

-->At Circle, 95.5% of IPs who signed on since 2015 and completed a journey with us with at least 1 transfer had a baby! And 99.4% of IPs who did at least 3 transfers had a baby!

(Fertility clinics are usually able to answer questions about their success rates with donor eggs and surrogacy.)

What do most couples look for when choosing an agency?

Friendly company executive interviewing candidate for vacancy

Choosing the right agency for you is an important first step! Consider this when choosing a surrogacy agency:

  • Agency experience
  • Legal expertise
  • Personality fit
  • Views on surrogate relationship
  • Costs of services
  • Full service vs non full service

Your agency will play a critical role in the success of your surrogacy journey. Finding a reputable agency that you feel comfortable working with is key!

Read more.

Is there financing available for surrogacy costs for gay men?

Yes! Circle currently works with Prosper lending that offers different loans for all U.S. intended parents. The Men Having Babies Organization (MHB) also has programs that we take part in that offer discounted services (and sometimes free services) through their GPAP program.

Read more.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

This European Couple Became Dads Through a U.K.-Based Surrogacy Program

Janno, from Estonia, and Matthias, from Belgium, were accepted into the "Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy" Program.

Janno Talu, an accountant, and Matthias Nijs, an art gallery director, were born in different parts of Europe. Janno, 39, is from Estonia, and Matthias, 28, is from Belgium. Their paths crossed when the two moved to London, each from their different corners of the European Union.

Janno relocated to London earlier than Matthias, when he was 24, and his main reason for the move was his sexuality. "Although Estonia is considered one of the more progressive countries in Eastern Europe, when it comes to gay rights, it is still decades behind Western society in terms of tolerance," said Janno. "And things are not moving in the right direction." In 2016, same-sex civil union became legal, but the junior party in the current coalition government is seeking to repeal the same-sex partnership bill. "In addition," Janno continued, "they wish to include the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the country's constitution. Even today, there are people in Estonia who liken homosexuality to pedophilia, which is why I decided to start a new life in the UK, where I could finally be myself."

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

A Gay Dad Asks: Is Destroying an Embryo Similar to Abortion?

It's a question many LGBTQ parents using advanced fertility treatments will need to face — what to do with "left over" embryos.

Let me start off by saying that I have always been pro choice and support all laws that allow people to have full reproductive rights including safe and legal abortions. This is a complicated subject and not one that I ever thought I would really have to deal with on a personal level, especially being a gay man.

I remember a very heated discussion on abortion in my biology class back in university. I was young, idealistic and had very strong convictions about abortion. I was debating with a female classmate who was pro life. She felt there was no reason for an abortion ever, not even if raped by your own parent or sibling. I could not really understand her position, then or now. Don't get me wrong, I still don't agree with her, but now that I'm older and wiser, and also a parent, I have come to respect and accept opinions other than mine.

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

Our Top Instagram Posts From 2019

Check out our round-up of some of our most popular and engaging Instagram posts from the last year!

Here's our annual round-up of our most popular and engaging Instagram posts from the past year!

Throughout 2019, thousands of gay dads from around the world sent their family photos to us, and we are proud to share as many of these pictures as we can on Instagram. Today we're showing you our most popular Instagram posts of the year. These photos will make you smile and maybe even melt your heart.

With these photos, you are helping us build a stronger and more visible gay dad community, so we hope you'll keep sharing your family pictures in the year ahead. We at Gays With Kids really appreciate your participation in our community!

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Gay Dad Life

Gong Hei Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year!

As we usher in the year of rat, we asked some of our dads how they honor this special time.

Today we're celebrating, alongside our families, the Chinese New Year! As we usher in the year of rat, we asked some of our dads how they honor this special time, what they do to celebrate, and how they're instilling these traditions in their kids. Here are some of their responses.

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News

Indiana Court Says Couples Using Sperm Donors​ Can Both Be Listed on Birth Certificate — But Ruling Excludes Male Couples

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the case, a major victory for LGBTQ parents — but the Attorney General may appeal to the Supreme Court.

On Friday, a US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling from a lower court that said that both parents in a same-sex relationship are entitled to be listed on the birth certificate — previously, the state of Indiana had required the non-biological parent within a same-sex relationship using assisted reproductive technologies to adopt their child after the birth in order to get her or his name listed on the birth certificate, a lengthy and expensive process not required of straight couples in the same situation.

It's a double standard LGBTQ parents have long been subjected to in many states across the country. So this represent a major win. As reported by CNN, this ruling "takes a lot of weight off" the shoulders of LGBTQ parents, said Karen Celestino-Horseman, a lawyer representing one of the couples in the case. "They've been living as families and wondering if this was going to tear them apart."

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals deliberated the case, according to CNN, for more than two and a half years, which is one of the longest in the court's history.

However, because all the plaintiffs in the case involved female same-sex couples using sperm donors, the ruling left open the similar question of parenting rights with respect to male couples. Indiana's Attorney General, moreover, may also appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

We'll be following the case closely and be sure to keep you up to date. For more on this recent decision, read CNN's article here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

As a Gay Dad, What's the Impact of Letting My Son Perform Drag?

Michael Duncan was excited when his 10-year-old son asked if he could perform in drag for charity — but he also felt fear and anxiety.

As LGBT parents, we have all lived through some sort of trauma in our lives. For many it is the rejection of our family, being bullied, or abuse. We learn to be vigilant of our surroundings and often are very cautious of who we trust. As adults, we start to become watchful of how much we share and we look for "red flags" around every corner.

So, what effect does this have on our children? Does it unintentionally cause us to be more jaded with our interactions involving others? For some the answer may be a resounding "no." But as we look deeper into the situation, we often find that through survival our interactions with others have changed and we may not even realize exactly how much we are projecting on those around us.

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Diary of a Newly Out Gay Dad

A Gay Chiropractor Explains Why He Came Out to His Patients

After Cameron Call, a chiropractor, came out to his family this past year, he knew he had one more step to take — he had to come out to his patients

Fear is an interesting thing. It motivates when it shouldn't, shows at inconvenient times, and is the author of stories that do nothing but hold us back. I would argue though, too, that fear has some good qualities. I believe it helps us to feel. And I think it can be a great teacher as we learn to recognize and face it.

For years fear prevented me from embracing my truth and accepting a large part of who I am. I know I am not alone in that regard. But for so long my fear convinced me that I was. Fear is what kept me from ever telling my parents or anyone growing up that I am gay. Fear mingled with strong religious teachings, embraced at a young age, which led me to believe that I could cure myself of my attractions to the same gender. And fear is a part of what kept me in my marriage to a woman for over ten years.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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